$5,000 chips are down at casino with concerns about money laundering, safety

$5,000 chips are down at casino with concerns about money laundering, safety

A flood of $5,000 chips that disappeared from Richmond’s River Rock Casino raised concerns about public safety and an alleged underground economy connected to illegal casinos in Richmond, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

The documents, which are redacted to protect police investigations, were released to Postmedia in the third phase of a freedom of information disclosure.

They say that in 2016, after “an unusually high number of $5,000 poker chips went missing from River Rock Casino, [this] prompted [the British Columbia Lottery Commission] to initiate a wholesale chips exchange.”

The large volume of missing River Rock Casino chips risked the integrity of BCLC casinos, documents say. But a confidential plan to replace the chips was delayed, according to documents, and there were concerns of an information leak between BCLC and River Rock staff.

The issue became a priority for BCLC anti-money laundering staff throughout 2015, when “River Rock experienced an increase in patrons leaving with large quantities of $5,000 chips,” documents say.

“BCLC believed the high number of outstanding River Rock Casino chips posed a personal risk to the safety of those in possession of large quantities of these chips.”

BCLC eventually completed a recall of $5,000 chips at River Rock in January 2016. Most of the chips had been taken from high-limit betting rooms. VIP gamblers were presented with cash or new chips in exchange for the old casino currency.

However, a recall that had been planned for September 2015 was delayed for “operational” reasons and “cancelled at the last minute,” the documents say. They say River Rock Casino staff were concerned about the chip swap for various reasons, including the potential for upsetting VIP gamblers.

“It appears that the chip swap information is floating around the River Rock Casino, for [an] end of January date,” the BCLC email says. “[Kroeker] is concerned that we have a leak that would have released this information. Can you advise who is aware of this project from our end or that you have communicated this to?”


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Chip Fraud 

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Started working in the Casino Industry in 1985, just never managed to leave as yet. Visited 99% of all UK Casinos, seen them all,

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